Tue, Sep 01, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA


Heavy rain warning issued

The Central Weather Bureau yesterday issued a heavy rain warning, cautioning against sudden downpours in western parts of the country and the offshore counties in the next two days due to an approaching weather front with moisture-bearing southwestern winds. Penghu County residents were warned to be on the alert as rainfall of 130mm or more, accompanied by strong winds and lightning, is expected over the next 24 hours, the bureau said. The entire west coast from Taoyuan to Kaohsiung and Kinmen County is likely to see rainfall of up to 50mm over the same period, the bureau said. The rain is expected to abate on Thursday as a Pacific high-pressure system strengthens, the bureau said.


VAT refunds going online

Visitors will be able to claim their value-added tax (VAT) refund electronically, as well as at the airports and major shopping malls from the beginning of next year as part of efforts to make obtaining a VAT refund more convenient, Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) said. The new policy would eliminate the need for travelers to line up at airports to get their refund for the tax paid on purchases of at least NT$3,000 made in one day at one Tax Refund Shopping-posted store, he said. The online procedure for applying for a refund would be handled by Chunghwa Telecom Co, which would charge a transaction fee of 14 percent for each traveler’s refund, Chang said, adding that the government will not receive any income from the electronic refund handling fee. The refund period allowed between a purchase and the traveler’s departure would also be extended from 30 days to 90 days, he said.


Man sets himself alight

A man was hospitalized in intensive care at National Taiwan University Hospital after setting himself on fire in front of the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall at about 2:25am yesterday. Police provided few details about the man, except to say that he was about 30, an average citizen and had suffered burns to 90 percent of his body. Chinese-language media reports said the man doused himself in flammable liquid, set himself alight and ran toward the main archway on the west side of the memorial complex before collapsing under the archway. Security personnel put out the fire.


Luo Lan dies at age 96

Veteran radio show host and renowned essayist Luo Lan (羅蘭), whose real name was Chin Pei-fen (靳佩芬), died on Saturday at the age of 96 in a hospital in Taipei. She was one of the most popular radio presenters in Taiwan in the 1950s and 1960s, when radio was a main source of entertainment. Born in Tianjin, China, she gained fame for narrating the life experiences of people from all walks of life on her radio programs and compiling their stories into inspiring essays. She did not publish her first book until 1963, when she was already in her 40s. Her books became popular on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, including the Luo Lan Xiao Yu (羅蘭小語) series, a compilation of essays based on her broadcasts. She won her first literary prize in 1969, and the following year, the US Department of State invited her to visit the US. She won a Golden Bell award in 1974 for best radio program, and in 1979 she received a citation for social education from the Ministry of Education.

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